Atakhama
Existence Indifferent

We all know that death metal isn’t exactly a forte of the Finns, but here is Finnish black/death metal supergroup of sorts, named after a desert in South America and featuring current and ex members of Funeris Nocturnum, Swallow the Sun, Machine Men and Sotajumala. And its pretty fucking good.

With this group of band members featured you’d expect this to be good, heck you may even expect Existence Indifferent to be a bit better than it actually is, but I get the impression this gathering of Finnish metal stars isn’t trying to re-invent the wheel, they are just trying to rip your face of with the existing wheel.

With a speed and pacing that sounds a lot like some of the US black/death acts (Angelcorpse, Aurora Borealis, Council of the Fallen, Internecine); rasped blackened vocals from Jimmy Salmi (Soulfallen) with frequent growls, and a blistering, breakneck assault with the occasional death metal lurch. It’s all tighter than my butthole at marriage counseling and delivered with a tight ferocity that’s very American sounding.

Though the first two tracks, ‘Regiment of Inhumanity’ and ‘Lifeless and Blistering’ set the brutal tone early, the third track ‘Predatory Acts’ really gets things going with a merciless percussive assault from Timo H’kkinen (Sotajumala) and a nasty, volatile persuasion similar to Zyklon. The album’s longest track ‘Refueling the Black Blood’ has a militaristic build before exploding into a perfect mix of seething black fury and controlled death metal lumber. Arguable standout track ‘Dead Wounded Imprisoned’ has a more death metal vocal approach to go with the track’s more staggering pace while ‘Consequence’ and ‘Hypothesis of Humankind’ have a more seething layered black metal sheen.

As the album ends with the controlled (at least for its first half) instrumental title track, finally allowing the listener a respite, I hope Atakhama can become more prolific and not just a one release side project.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 20th, 2005

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